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March 2, 2016

‘Faster, fairer payments to photographers’ promised as Splash founder launches The Mega Agency

By Dominic Ponsford

Founder of US showbiz news and pictures agency Splash Kevin Smith is launching a new global photographic agency.

Offices for The Mega Agency have been promised in the US, Europe and Australasia. And Smith told Press Gazette that he thought there was “blood in the water” and that existing photo agencies were vulnerable to a new, more innovative, player in the market.

Smith, and co-founder Gary Morgan, sold Splash to Corbis in 2011. He grew the business from a one-man operation to a having a turnover of $30m and around 100 staff.

Smith said: “I want this company to be even bigger than before and we'll be on the lookout for the best talent across the world.”

Smith has promised “exciting and innovative new technologies to shake-up the agency world”.

He said: “I’ve been recharging my batteries and taking a long, hard look at what’s needed in today’s rapidly changing media world and where the business is going.

“I have never lost sight of the fact that content is king and those who provide it make us what we are.

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“I appreciate how upsetting it is for photographers to see their images being given away for next to nothing. I dislike the way prices have fallen as much as they do.”

Tom Tramborg, formerly a senior director of Getty Images and head of All Over Press International, is joining Mega as chief executive.

He said: “The Mega Agency is built on the experience from more than 25 years of licensing visual material, but built with new cutting edge mobile technology and a focus on new revenue streams and a development plan that will help to sustain the benefits of our investment.

“We have identified a need for a global platform that will deliver better content, deliver it faster and at scale; faster and fairer payments to photographers – and I am pleased to see how it resonates with photographers as well as key people in the media business in joining The Mega Agency. We intend to roll out exciting new services and features – for both contributors and clients. We intend to scale and grow at a rapid rate immediately after launch.”

Meanwhile, co-founder of Splash News Gary Morgan this week joined video news agency Newsflare as a senior advisor.

Smith is pictured above (left) with Tramborg

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